March 5th, 2024

CBC to skip New Year’s Eve broadcast special due to ‘financial pressures’

By David Friend, The Canadian Press on December 29, 2023.

New Year's Eve will look much different this year on CBC-TV. Canada's public broadcaster tells The Canadian Press that "financial pressures" have led the network to forgo the annual countdown. People watch the fireworks during the New Year's Eve celebrations held at Nathan Phillip square in Toronto just after midnight, Tuesday, Jan. 1, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/ Tijana Martin

TORONTO – New Year’s Eve will look much different this year on CBC-TV.

Canada’s public broadcaster tells The Canadian Press that “financial pressures” have led the network to cancel this year’s countdown, which inched towards midnight with musical performances and a fireworks show.

This year, CBC plans to air a new “Just For Laughs” special hosted by comedian Mae Martin at 11 p.m. in most markets, followed by episodes of “Comedy Night with Rick Mercer” as the new year rolls in. The programs will also stream on CBC Gem.

It’s a notable change for CBC, which has long been a reliable stop for viewers on the momentous night.

For more than two decades, the Royal Canadian Air Farce hosted a New Year’s Eve special until it was cancelled in 2019.

CBC continued in the years after with a cross-country broadcast that included performances from popular Canadian musicians situated in cities across Canada. The show featured Mercer as host and continued through the early years of the COVID-19 pandemic.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 29, 2023.

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